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Rural villages prepare to host 2010 World Cup visitors

January 03, 2008

Tzaneen - Construction of bed and breakfast facilities has already begun in some deep rural hinterlands of Limpopo in preparation for expected visitors during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ to be held in South Africa.The R15 million European Union-funded project has started in the areas of Muhlava, Sekgopo and Thabina villages outside Tzaneen in the Mopani district municipality. The site where these accommodation establishments are being constructed is about a 30 minutes drive from Polokwane - a town which will host some of the World Cup matches. The project is expected to be completed by December this year.Project Manager Elvis Ntlwane hailed the project as one of the municipality's local economic development projects, which aim to improve the livelihood of poor communities through tourism. The project has already created short-term jobs for more than 300 builders and labourers, including women and disabled people."Cultural exhibition centres will also be built where crafters, dancers and story-tellers can showcase their skills and products," he said. Mr Ntlwane said the project was being implemented with a view to cater for the 2010 Soccer World Cup, and beyond.Tour guide centres have already been established in the local municipalities of Greater Tzaneen, Greater Letaba, Greater Giyani, Ba-Phalaborwa and Maruleng to promote the district as a tourist destination. The rural district boasts some famous natural and cultural tourist attractions, including the home of South Africa's most famous "mystic", Rain Queen Modjadji, outside Modjadjiskloof. The area also has the largest concentration of a single cycad species in the world.The district's eastern-most town, Phalaborwa, is one of the busiest entrances to the world-famous Kruger National Park. Source: www.sa2010.gov.za

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